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America's Founding Secret: What the Scottish Enlightenment Taught Our Founding Fathers Hardcover – September 28, 2002


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 140 pages
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.; First edition (September 28, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0742522806
  • ISBN-13: 978-0742522800
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 4.8 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,752,916 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

A vital, thoughtful and welcome contribution to history from one of the wisest, most public-spirited and accomplished leaders in America. (Michael Beschloss)

mention of book signing with author (Lake Forrester)

notice of book signing with author (Northbrook Star)

notice of book signing (Lincolnshire Review)

notice of author's book signing event in Chicago (Chicago Reader)

He calls this an untold story because though scholars might be aware of the impact of the great Scottish thinkers, the citizenry is not. (Howard Wolinsky Chicago Sun-Times)

An excellent treatise on the often overlooked contributions of the Scottish people to the formation of the United States, I found it a very informative book. (Midwest Book Review)

About the Author

Robert W. Galvin is chairman emeritus of Motorola, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

3.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

39 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Harold McFarland HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on August 19, 2002
Format: Hardcover
The Scottish Enlightenment was a period when some of the greatest scholars from almost every field were concentrated in one area that allowed a free flow of thought and information between them. Basically they were concentrated in the university communities of Glasgow and Edinburgh between 1720 and 1780. This free thinking influence spread to the colonies where people such as Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and Alexander Hamilton were schooled by Scottish teachers. A Scottish teacher, Francis Allison, taught three signers of the Declaration of Independence.
The Scottish teachers realized that all nations of the time were founded or maintained by force. They suggested that a nation founded on commerce could be equally as powerful and influencial as those founded by force. This set the stage for the development of the philosophical underpinnings of the United States. All that was really needed now was a spark to set off the natural chain of events. During the time just prior to 1776 there was a multitude of writings from Scottish authors that proposed and defended the notion that oppressed people have a right to assert their independence. Between the strong writings calling for oppressed people to assert their independence and the belief that a country could be established based on commerce the scene was set for the establishment of the United States.
The author provides substantial and convincing background information on exactly how all of this worked together the help create the Unites States. Details on what the Enlightenment was, how it came about and exactly how it influenced the actions of our forefathers and all there for the reader to learn and consider. An excellent treatise on the often overlooked contributions of the Scottish people to the formation of the United States, I found it a very informative book.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Bruce Crocker on October 9, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Robert W. Galvin is not the most eloquent writer, but his enthusiasm for his subject matter makes up for the excess use of passive voice in America's Founding Secret. The Scottish Enlightenment was a wonderful and exciting period in history and the Scots had a major influence on the Founding Fathers. Galvin enthusiastically and accurately relates this information in a series of short essays. This book would be a good choice to introduce a somewhat reluctant reader to this subject before exposing them to longer works such as Alexander Broadie's The Scottish Enlightenment: The Historical Age of the Historical Nation or Arthur Herman's How The Scots Invented The Modern World. America's Founding Secret is evidence that someone outside of academia can get a charge out of heavy intellectual exercise. If buying/owning/reading a SHORT book bothers you, avoid this book and track down a copy of one of the other books mentioned in this review. If you want a short introduction to the Scottish Enlightenment and its effects on the founding of the United States, I recommend this book.
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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Amazon User on April 4, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I had recently read "How the Scots Invented the Modern World: The True Story of How Western Europe's Poorest Nation Created Our World & Everything in It" and since I have a fondness for Scotland and its people I purchased the current volume. The book is very short and the writing is a bit disjointed. While many Scottish Englightenment ideas are addressed in the book, the connection to the American founding fathers is not always direct. In such a short book, that lack of attention to the title is distracting. It is a however a quick read and not completely wihtout merit if you are not looking to devote yourself to a heavy tome.
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